Read here about tensegrity structures composed of six struts, part of a series of pages organized by strut count.


The 6 strut tensegrity is considered by many as the most essential tensegrity.

6 struts as icosahedron

The most common 6 strut tensegrity outlines a icosahedron. The outline is not obvious, as in many constructions some of the icosahedron edges are inferred. It may be more accurate to say that the 6 strut outlines the jitterbug in its icosahedron phase.

6 struts with nucleus

Fuller contended that 12 tension members were required to fix a nucleus in relation to its surroundings, imparting it with zero degrees of freedom. While this is unproven mathematically (less than 12 are required), it made for an elegant model. The typical model fixes a ball within a 6 strut tensegrity. The 6 struts have 12 ends. To each end is added a tension member that connects to the nucleus. This is very clear in a model given by Thomas Zung to William McDonough, manipulated by McDonough as he discusses tensegrity in the video below:

6 strut as stellated dodecahedron

Based on 6 struts, the tendons can outline a stellated doedahedron.

6 strut tensegrity, Great Stellated Dodecahedral Tensegrity. Drawing by MonteThrasher.

6 strut compared with other tensegrities

de Jong comments:
the 6 strut structure is "neutral" as compared with the 3-strut tensegrity modules that is "charged" due to its chirality. WIth the 3-strut, one must connect two charged tensegrites together in opposition to make a neutral one.

Gallery of images and videos of 6 strut tensegrity structures

Tomaiwa manipulates a 6 strut tensegrity

Tomaiwa flexes and compresses the model while discussing it in Japanese.

Tomaiwa's channel,
Tomaiwa made a similar video holding a 3 strut prism, see 3 struts.

6 Strut tensegrity rendered with springs as tension tendons.

Schematic drawing of a 6 strut tensegrity, asymmetric

Skwish 6 strut tensegrity, designed by Tom Flemons, sold by Manhattan Toys.

Koenig coffee table, glass top on a 6 strut tensegrity base.

6 curved struts with nuclear object.

The original Skwish by Manhattan Toys, designed by Tom Flemons.

6 strut prism, black struts with yellow twine tendons.

6 curved strut tensegrity with membranes on the 6 leaves.

Woman on parade holding a mobile, from which two 6 strut tensegrity structures hang.

Links and References

See also Icosahedron, Dodecahedron.

Portal to Polyhedra
A series on polyhedra and associated tensegrities
  1. Platonic: Cube, Dodecahedron, Icosahedron, Octahedron, Tetrahedron
  2. Archimedan: Cuboctahedron, Jitterbug, Rhombic Dodecahedron, Stella Octangula, Tricontahedron
  3. Form: Prism, Torus
  4. Concepts: Naming
Access by no. of struts: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 21, 30, 60, 90, 270, 540; Procedures: 3, 30